Man indicted in Okeana neighbor homicide; 911 caller says ‘he thought he was a Democrat’

Credit: Butler County Jail

Credit: Butler County Jail

911 caller suggests crime was because of victim’s political beliefs.

A Morgan Twp. man has by indicted for the deadly shooting of his neighbor Saturday in Okeana.

Austin Gene Combs, 26, was indicted Thursday by a Butler County grand jury for aggravated murder with a gun specification.

He was booked on Saturday night into the Butler County Jail, where he remains held in lieu of a $950,000 bond set Monday during a video arraignment at the Butler County Historic Courthouse.

Anthony Lee King, 43, died of multiple gunshot wounds, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

The case has been assigned to Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster, but arraignment on the indicted charge has not yet been scheduled.

Combs admitted to shooting and killing King in the yard of his Chapel Road residence, according to court documents.

He reportedly admitted he shot King “several times with a revolver,” according to sheriff’s office investigators.

Video obtained confirmed statements by Combs and witnesses, the court documents say.

Combs was taken into custody after deputies were called for a shooting at 11:46 a.m. Saturday and found King dead outside, according to the sheriff’s office.

Family members called 911 after hearing shots and finding King in the backyard unresponsive and bleeding.

The family member told the dispatcher a neighbor had confronted King before about perceived political affiliation.

“My neighbor just shot my dad,” a male tells dispatchers.

The suspect, “just walked back onto his property,” he tells the dispatcher.

According to the son, the neighbor “has come over multiple times making statements. He’s insane.”

The caller’s mother is sobbing in the background, and the dispatcher tells them to stay inside and keep the doors locked.

The victim’s wife then tells the dispatcher they were cutting grass and working in the yard when she came inside to let the dog out. That’s when she heard gunshots, she said.

“I look in the backyard and that man is walking away from my husband, and my husband is on the ground,” the woman says “He has come over like four times confronting my husband because he thought he was a Democrat. Why, why … Please, I don’t understand.”

Combs was taken into custody in a Jeep on Ohio 126, west of Chapel Road. Both Combs and his father were in the vehicle.

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